GORDON BOYINGTON'S RECOLLECTIONS: MOONEE PONDS, CARRUM DOWNS, FRANKSTON ETC., VIC., AUST.
Why has this duty been thrust upon me? My neighbour has had dizzy spells so I spent some time with him, resulting in the need for another journal, despite the fact that I have the Red Hill Dictionary History, the Pioneers' Pathway and the Watson/Stirling on the go as well as so many other unfinished journals. Since 1988, I have been recording information that would otherwise have gone to the grave and there don't seem to be enough hours in a day!
Gordon Boyington's father, Alfred, joined the Royal Navy as a boy but when W.W.1 started he was too young to be allowed into combat. However he managed to rejoin using documents that weren't his. After he'd had three ships sunk underneath him he figured he'd used all his luck and transferred to the army. He hadn't used it all and managed to survive the carnage at Flanders. After he was discharged he emigrated to Australia, meeting Gordon's mother on the voyage out. Gordon was born nine months and a few days after their marriage.
Gordon remembers his time living in Aspen St, Moonee Ponds(Melway 28 H7.) as a four year old. Later they lived at Carrum Downs before moving to Daly St in Frankston and then Station St in the same town. He recalls that Cranbourne Rd was sealed as far as the cemetery and was just a dirt road thereafter.
The organist at the Church of England at Carrum Downs, Mr Hadwin, used to travel in his T model Ford car to houses in the area teaching organ, piano and another instrument.
Gordon's brother, Raymond, was a professional boxer, known as Snowy Boyd, who fought the Australian middleweight champion (NAME)four times during the mid 1940's. Gordon gave the sport a go too, the venue for their bouts being the West Melbourne Stadium in Dudley St, North Melbourne, near the railway bridge. I asked Gordon if he remembered Russell Horsborough, and the name rang a bell, but Russell probably fought under a ring name too. Russell used to live at 21 McConnell St, Kensington, two houses from me, and introduced me to boxing as a skinny 11 year old at the Kensington Police Club where I knocked a triple Australian champion off his feet: Frankie Flannery was probably affected by a liquid with an Arabic name at the time.
Gordon's brother, Raymond, was a very good horseman and was involved with a camping facility at Mt Eliza where suburbanites could live with nature. It was location. During the second world war, American servicemen were stationed at a girls' school near Mt Eliza; from Gordon recognising my description of Old Mornington Rd, I believe the school was Toorak College. The Principal of the college kindly supplied part of its history "The Echoes Fade Not" which states that on 15-4-1942, Colonel Davey of the Australian Army phoned to ask that the army's request to use the Toorak College property. On the last Friday of the term 1 vacation the Government revoked its decision to use the property which led to frantic activity notifying boarders' families that they could return and unpacking textbooks, crockery and photographs.
Despite this, Gordon insists that the college was used by the Americans, so a road trip will be necessary in order to clear up the confusion.
When Gordon spoke about Moonee Ponds, my thoughts turned to a book that the almost 100 year old Gordon Connor had given me in 1998. Called Memories, it compiled the life highlights of members of the St John's (Essendon) Friendship Club. Gordon's father was a bootmaker at Moonee Ponds, where Gordon C. was born on 17-7-1899. Gordon was married in the original bluestone St John's in 1927 and moved to Strathmore. He and his neighbours stared in amazement at the first brick veneer house they'd ever seen, expecting it to collapse. I'll let Gordon C. paint a word picture of the depression that Gordon B.'s parents faced.
"Depression days which were very sad for those out of work.Those of us who were working helped those who weren't so lucky. We formed a committee and every week bought groceries with the money donated. (The committee members) doled it out as evenly as they could." I hope there was a committee in Moonee Ponds too!
Gordon B. recalled the Moonee Theatre in Puckle St, where Gordon C. had seen his first film in 1912. Thank you Gordon Connor! Now back to Gordon Boyington, who will hopefully tell me more of the Moonee Ponds of his boyhood.
There are two very good reasons that Gordon can remember little else about Moonee Ponds. He was only about four and remembers only walking to the milk bar in Puckle St for a treat. Such treats would have been few and far between. Gordon's father was frantically looking for work as so many others were. Gordon went to live at Moe with a Scottish woman who had worked as a maid with Gordon's aunt. Her husband was foreman of a gang maintaining railway lines in that area. Younger brother, Raymond was taken in by a Protestant minister in the Moonee Ponds area.Gordon went to school at Moe for about two years, with his unofficial aunt's two sons (older than Gordon) ensuring that he did not get into trouble. The family was reunited when the chance arose to live on a big block on the Brotherhood Settlement at Carrum Downs.
Gordon remembers that at his eighth birthday party at Moe, he was dared to climb onto the table at his "aunt's" house. He fell of course, headfirst onto a cabinet and breaking his nose.
As soon as Gordon spoke of a scheme to settle jobless families at Carrum Downs, I thought of another book donated to me, this time by Steve Johnson, a descendant of Henry Cadby Wells. Called "Fishing, Sand and Village Days" it recorded the history of the Frankston area 1900-1950 and provided training to three long-term jobless people.
The Brotherhood of St Laurence Settlement at Carrum Downs (Melway 100 F-G 1) was founded in 1935 when Father Gerald Tucker initiated a program to move unemployed men down from Melbourne. Father Tucker also envisaged the settlement helping pensioners and in 1948 moved to the settlement to organise the transition.
Lois Lambert recalled that little, bespectacled, grey-haired Father Tucker was quite eccentric. He always wore little tight rings* around his legs and leathers, and used to walk in from Carrum Downs to Frankston. Lois was proud that she remembered this remarkable man so well. (*Probably metal bicycle clips.)
Harley Klauer lived near Seaford Station and his family used to send the big catches to Melbourne but after small catches of mixed fish Harley would put an angler's basket over his shoulder and tramp around the district to the far side of Carrum Downs. Harley remembered the Brotherhood bringing old houses from Melbourne and putting them on blocks in the bush for the poor people from Melbourne. He recalled children chewing crusts of bread for something to eat. (The idea was for the jobless to be self-sufficient but at this early stage vegetables, chicken etc weren't ready for the table.) Harley was so moved by the Brotherhood's work that he donated a whole basket of fish.
Lloyd Walton's brother was the manager of the settlement. After helping out during visits to his brother, he was asked to set up a dry cleaning factory to employ older residents, but it would have been too expensive. A while later he took on the maintenance on the settlement. LLoyd discussed the wood or coke stoves used for cooking, the oval portable galvanised baths and copper-heated water, the outdoor toilets, but this was the way of life for almost everybody, not just Carrum Down residents. A bright old lady started a kindergarten at Carrum Downs because the area lacked one. If someone's milk or paper hadn't been taken in, neighbours would always check if that person was all right. Once there was suspicion that Miss Vann might have had a mishap, and, the door being locked, Lloyd climbed in the window- to be confronted by Miss Vann and her rolling pin.
Loyd said that Father G.K.Tucker would have been able to inspire audiences to walk through brick walls, despite his stutter. Although he wasn't practical, Father Tucker was a dreamer, whose dreams always came true.
Father Tucker led by example and even refused invitations to tea because he'd then have to accept all invitations and would not be an example of the self-sufficiency he wanted the settlers to develop.
Miss Turner told of how Father Tucker had been appalled by the poverty in Fitzroy and obtained financial assistance from Mr Coles. The single men used to live in Kempton Court and then up in Cafeteria (i.e. Cox Court.) When the depression ended, men got jobs and moved away. She pointed out that Father Tucker would not suffer fools but regarded him as a saint.
Mr Lomax, Licensee of the Carrum Hotel, gave Carrum Downs residents their first experience of radio at the Carrum Downs school in about 1924. Carmen Tomlinson thought that they listened to 3AR and they probably did but the station probably had nothing to do with the A.B.C.* The letters stood for "Associated Radio", a firm whose transmitter and tower were in Airport West. (*At that time.) The radio concert appears to have taken place on Saturday, 28-2-1925.(P. 2, Frankston and Somerville Standard, 18-2-1925.
GORDON'S MEMORIES OF CARRUM DOWNS.
Due to terrible headaches, Gordon is finding that memories come in flashes and often halt at the end of his tongue. However, he has drawn a map of the Brotherhood Settlement and described some nearby residents.
The entry road of the Settlement was most likely today's Tuxen Ave. Entering from Frankston-Dandenong Rd, Gordon would see, on his left, a dam which was built in about 1938, a vacant block, probably of one acre, and then a house occupied by Mrs Pope and her 13 children; Gordon thinks she might have been a widow.Then there was an elderly widow living on her own.
Gordon remembers a shop which was on the south corner of Tuxen Ave which opened about six months after the Boyington family arrived. Then there was vacant land and a track which may have been today's Weigall Avenue. On the far corner of this track lived Mr and Mrs Hadwin. Further on was another track heading south up a slight rise to a place where outdoor services were held in Summer. This track might have been Church Hill Crescent. There was a (describe) altar and concrete blocks for the worshippers to use as seats.
Mr Hadwin, the organist mentioned earlier, and his wife lived over the entry road from the Boyingtons' first house. Gordon used to walk, with billy in hand, to a dairy farm diagonally across Frankston-Flinders Rd from the settlement.
Two nearby farmers that Gordon remembers are Caine/Kane/Cain?) and Broderick. Caine's farm was near Amayla Crescent, west of Caine's Bend (Melway 100 D4.) Gordon was trying to pinpoint the location of Broderick's farm when I saw it: Broderick Rd !(100 E-F 3.) SEE BELOW RE CAINE AND BRODERICK.
The Boyingtons' first home was opposite Mr Hadwin's, their second on (Caine's?)farm, entered from Frankston-Flinders Rd and the third on the Settlement again but way back in the bush.
Gordon and Raymond attended Carrum Downs Primary School. It was a one-teacher school and the teacher, Mr Parker, wore a grey pin-striped suit.There are no prizes for guessing that the children referred to him as Nosey! Probably in 1938 a female assistant was appointed and took charge of the lower grades. Unfortunately Raymond was one of her pupils and when he undid his shirt to show what he had brought for "Show and Tell", she screamed very loudly at the sight of the blue-tongued lizard.
THROUGH THE BUSH TO SCHOOL
Jack Broderick of Carrum Downs came third in an examination for a Frankston High School scholarship donated by Dr Kennedy of Frankston. (P.2, Frankston and Somerville Standard, 26-11-1926.)
John Leo Broderick, probably the above scholar, was to marry Irma Carmen Hayes of Elmore on 15-5-1943. (P.6, The Argus, 14-5-1943.)
Gordon remembers the Broderick farm being operated by two brothers. Their father, John, had died in 1927 leaving a widow, two sons and two daughters. (P.1, F&S Standard, 1-4-1927, OBITUARY.)
J. Broderick and S.Hadwin played leading roles in the Carrum Downs Concert Club's production of "Circus Days".
(P.4, Standard (Frankston), 2-6-1939.)
John Leo Broderick, dairy farmer of Dandenong Rd, Carrum Downs must have been a keen golfer but wasn't so keen on the vagrant who stole his clubs.(P.3, Standard, 3-4-1942.)
John's brother was probably A.Broderick of Carrum Downs who advertised 100 tons of 2 ft firewood for sale. (P.2, F&S Standard, 20-1-1939.
CARRUM DOWNS ROAD NAMES.
BRODERICK RD.-see above.
LATHAMS RD. Ashton Latham of Carrum Downs was a member of the Frankston Methodist Circuit Choir.(P.4, Frankston and Somerville Standard, 6-3-1936.) In a concert in 1925, the performers included Ashton, Misses D and V.Latham and Mrs Latham.(P.2,F&S Standard, 21-8-1925.)
BAWDEN ST. As well as being a frequent performer at concerts, Mr Bawden was the foundation secretary/ treasurer of the Carrum Downs branch of the Victorian Wholesale Milk Producers' Association. (P.4, F&S Standard, 8-8-1923.) Mr Bawden was probably Hubert Bawden, but may have been his father, Mr J.Bawden who had died before Hubert's marriage in 1927. (P.4,F&S Standard, 9-9-1927.)
COLEMAN RD.Masters Jack, Arthur and Alex Coleman's recitations and Mr Bawden's usual mandolin solos were some of the items in a concert reported on page 4, Frankston and Somerville Standard, 22-10-1924.
Mr Coleman attended the meeting to form a local branch of the milk producers' association (see Bawden.) Mrs G.Coleman was passing Latham's farm on the way home from Seaford when a gunshot (to frighten off birds)spooked her horse which resulted in Mrs Coleman and her younger son being thrown from the cart and rendered unconscious; while the son recovered quickly Mrs Coleman was unconscious for some hours.
HALL RD. It is possible that this road was named after a Frankston councillor because the surname has not been mentioned in articles relating to Carrum Downs.
THE SLEEPOUTS FOR CEREBUS SAILORS AND THEIR WIVES ETC.)
on 2012-10-09 03:30:37
Itellya is researching local history on the Mornington Peninsula and is willing to help family historians with information about the area between Somerville and Blairgowrie. He has extensive information about Henry Gomm of Somerville, Joseph Porta (Victoria's first bellows manufacturer) and Captain Adams of Rosebud.